Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Press Release: Federal Way to host weekend festival highlighting Korean culture in May

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2009

MEDIA CONTACTS
Patrick Doherty
Economic Development Director
Korean Festival Hotline: 253.835.6868 253.835.2612


Federal Way to host weekend festival highlighting Korean culture in May

The 2009 Han Woo-Ri Northwest Korean Sports and Cultural Festival — a colorful cultural event that celebrates all things Korean —will be held May 15-17 in Federal Way, Wash. The event brings together Korean and Korean-American musicians, dancers and artists from both sides of the Pacific Ocean as well as exhibits, demonstrations, crafts, games and food.

Han Woo-Ri, which translates roughly as "united all together," opens with a special evening gala on Friday, May 15, when top Korean and U.S. performers take to the main stage at the Festival Village in the city center.

On Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Festival Village will be busy with performances, exhibits, crafts booths and food vendors. This year, festival organizers are bringing in a Korean bonsai master to demonstrate the traditional art of shaping these miniaturized living trees, as well as Korean culinary experts who will offer kim chi demonstrations and cooking lessons. (Kim chi is a traditional fermented cabbage dish so beloved by Koreans that they consume about 40 pounds of it per person per year.)

Additional hands-on activities and demonstrations will include tae kwon do demonstrations, calligraphy workshops, children’s activities, art displays and more. The festival also features cultural events, including lavishly costumed weddings and traditional tea ceremonies.

Battle of the B-Boys

One of the highlights of the festival is the popular B-Boy competition. These hip-hop breakdancers are one of Korea’s hottest cultural exports. They spin on their heads, twist their bodies like pretzels, and flip effortlessly through the air. This year, the festival will feature a top Korean team exhibiting its skills in daytime performances Saturday and Sunday, culminating in a Sunday evening competition where the Korean team will "battle" with regional B-Boy teams from the Pacific Northwest.

Other featured performers are a contemporary percussion-based musical group from Korea as well as a female music-and-dance troupe from Los Angeles. Traditional and children's performances from the local region will round out the line-up.

All events are open and free to the public. For additional details, please call the festival hotline at 253-835-6868.

This is the fourth time that the Han Woo-Ri Festival has been staged and it has become one of Federal Way's signature events. Federal Way, home to one of the largest Korean-American communities in the Pacific Northwest, maintains close ties with a sister city in Korea Donghae City, in the province of Gangwon.

Federal Way is located in the South Puget Sound region, 21 miles south of Seattle, 8 miles north of Tacoma and just minutes from Sea-Tac International Airport. The city offers a wide selection of hotels, restaurants and shops, along with a stunning Puget Sound coastline, making it an affordable and pleasant jumping-off point for visits to Mt. Rainier, the South Cascades or the Olympic Peninsula.

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